The Summer Reading Challenge is for those of you who want to encourage your children to read this summer but have no interest in timing your children’s reading sessions or prodding your children to work their way through a required reading list. It is for those of you who think summer reading will be more fun for you and your children if you focus on books rather than reading logs and prizes.
This is what I am committing to do with my children this summer, and I hope you will join me!
1. Take 10 trips to the library. You may wish to establish a weekly routine of heading to the library at a set time each week, or you may wish to change it up each week. Consider making your library trips extra special by heading to a coffee shop afterwards for a treat or by meeting a friend at the library to play.
2. Each time you go to the library, choose 3 books for each child that you think they will enjoy, and let your children choose books they want to read. For younger children, you may wish to pick out more books yourself. As kids grow older and more familiar with which books they like and do not like, it is important to encourage them to choose books that they truly enjoy reading. Here is a Summer Reading Challenge log for parents to print out to keep track of library visits and books that your children might enjoy!
3. Make sure that each child has a space where they can read in your home. This could mean simply moving a reading lamp and a box with books next to their bed or a comfy chair. We recently put a nightstand and lamp next to my 5-year-old daughter’s bed and have caught her reading much more frequently than before. While children do not need fancy reading nooks to read, they are more likely to read if they have someplace quiet to read with…
- good light,
- comfy seating, and
That’s it! The Summer Reading Challenge is that simple!
I created a fun and free printable book that kids ages five and up can decorate and fill with information about their favorite books and authors, subjects they would like to read about, their very own book reviews and more. (Teachers and librarians, feel free to print this book off and distribute it to kids.)
Parents of children ages zero to ten are also invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge Goodreads group. I created this Goodreads group for parents to exchange book recommendations and discuss ways to encourage their children to read.
Are you looking for the perfect book for your child who is obsessed with trains or hockey or spiders? The Summer Reading Challenge Goodreads group is the perfect place to ask for book recommendations. I will chime in with book recommendations, and members can recommend books to each other as well. Are you wondering what to do when your child balks at going to the library or, once at the library, has no interest in picking out books? This Goodreads group is the perfect place to exchange ideas with other parents.
Further ideas for encouraging your children to read this summer:
- Get your children their own library cards.
- Teach your children new library skills (e.g. where the fiction and nonfiction books are located, how to ask a children’s librarian for help, or how to use the card catalog).
- Subscribe to a children’s magazine. This list of Parents’ Choice award winning magazines includes some fantastic options.
- Pack books to take along on trips, from short trips to the doctor’s office to long road trips.
- Limit TV time.
- Find times to read to your children this summer that work for your family. While we often read to our children before bedtime during the school year, this does not work for us during the summers. Summer evenings are often filled with soccer games, bike rides, and time spent outside playing with neighbors. Rather than count on pre-bedtime reading sessions, I make a point of reading to my kids when they wake up in the mornings and after naps. One or two days a week, I also forego making dinner and read books to the kids instead.
Attn. Bloggers: Grab a Summer Reading Challenge button to post on your blog, and join in!
Summer Reading Challenge:
- Week 1. Talk with your children about the kinds of books they would like to read this summer. Go to the library!
- Week 2. Get your children their own library cards.
- Week 3. Create a reading nook.
- Week 4. Check out a book for each child that you think they will really like.
- Week 5. Assess how frequently your family makes it to the library. Decide whether to establish a library routine or not.
- Week 6. Check out a children’s magazine at the library this week. Consider subscribing to a children’s magazine.